Snake plants (sansevieria) are a popular houseplant, known for their hardiness and ability to thrive in even the most challenging conditions.
Though they don’t require much maintenance or care, one of the most common issues among snake plant owners is drooping leaves.
If your snake plant is looking a little lackluster, here’s what you can do to revive it.
Causes of Drooping Snake Plants
The most common cause of drooping snake plants is overwatering. This happens when the plant is given too much water and can no longer absorb all the moisture in the soil.
This creates a build-up of water around the roots, which prevents oxygen from getting to them and eventually leads to droopy leaves.
When it comes to overwatering, it’s important to be mindful of how much water you are giving your snake plant. Too much water can quickly saturate the soil and make it difficult for the plant to take in what it needs.
Just like overwatering, underwatering can also cause drooping in your snake plant. Unlike overwatering which causes a build-up of water around the roots, underwatering doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t enough moisture in the soil—it just means that the plant isn’t getting enough water.
When it comes to signs of underwatering, the most obvious one is wilted or drooping leaves. If your snake plant has become limp and lifeless, it’s a sign that you need to give it some more water.
Other signs of underwatering include brown patches on the leaves, yellowed leaves, and brittle stems.
Root rot is a fungal disease caused by overwatering. When the roots of your plant are sitting in wet soil for long periods of time, they start to break down and become infected with fungi.
This causes them to die off, which prevents the plant from absorbing water and nutrients from the soil. As a result, you’ll notice drooping or wilted leaves on your plant, and the root system can become weak and brittle.
To prevent root rot in your snake plant, it’s important to be mindful of how much water you are giving it. Allow the soil to dry out completely between each watering session and only give it enough water to keep its roots hydrated.
Poor Soil Drainage
One of the biggest culprits behind drooping snake plants is poor soil drainage. If the soil in your pot isn’t draining properly, it can cause water to become trapped around the roots and prevent them from getting enough oxygen.
This can lead to root rot and other problems that affect the health and growth of your plant.
To ensure proper drainage, make sure you’re using a potting mix that is made for succulents and cacti. This type of soil will ensure that water drains quickly and the roots get the oxygen they need to stay healthy.
Additionally, it’s important to use a pot with drainage holes in the bottom so that any excess water can escape. If your pot doesn’t have drainage holes, create some by drilling a few into the bottom, or use a pot with a built-in saucer.
Snake plants need plenty of bright, indirect light to thrive. If you’re not providing your plant with the right amount of light, its leaves may start to droop or become limp.
This is because the plant isn’t getting enough energy from photosynthesis and it’s unable to absorb important nutrients from the soil.
To prevent this from happening, make sure your snake plant is getting plenty of bright, indirect light. Place it in a spot where it can get at least 4-6 hours of sunlight each day and turn it periodically so that all sides get an equal amount of sun exposure.
Snake plants tend to prefer temperatures between 65-80°F (18-27°C). If the temperature around your plant sudden drops below this range or goes above it, it can cause the leaves to droop and start wilting.
The same is true if the humidity levels are too low—the air will become dry and create a stressful environment for your plant.
To avoid this, try to keep your snake plant in a spot with consistent temperatures and humidity levels.
If the temperature does drop suddenly or if it gets too hot, move your plant away from any direct sources of heat such as vents or radiators.
Additionally, misting your plant periodically can help increase the humidity around it, which will also prevent wilting.
How to Fix a Drooping Snake Plant
Assess Watering Habits
If your snake plant is drooping, the most common cause is likely improper watering habits. Snake plants are quite drought tolerant, so they don’t need to be watered very often.
Overwatering your plant can lead to root rot and other serious issues such as wilting or drooping leaves.
To prevent this from happening, make sure you only water your snake plant when the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry. Stick your finger in the soil and if it feels dry, then it’s time to water.
A good rule of thumb for snake plants is to give them a good deep watering once every two weeks.
If your snake plant has been over-watered recently, strive to let the soil dry out completely before watering again. This will help reduce the chances of root rot and help your plant recover from possible drooping or wilting.
Improve Soil Drainage
When it comes to snake plants, good drainage is key. Soil that is too dense or has poor drainage can cause your plant to become waterlogged and begin drooping.
To avoid this, use a soil mixture specifically made for succulents or cacti. This type of potting mix will be light and porous with plenty of organic matter that helps with drainage.
When repotting your snake plant, make sure you’re using a pot that has multiple drainage holes at the bottom. Additionally, consider adding some perlite or coarse sand to the soil mixture in order to increase drainage capabilities even more.
Optimize Lighting Conditions
Incorrect lighting conditions can also cause your snake plant to droop or wilt. To determine if your plant is getting enough light, consider the following:
• If it’s outside, you should see some signs of new growth and leaves that are perky and strong.
• If it’s indoors, check for signs of yellowing or bleaching, as this could be an indication that it is not getting enough light.
To optimize lighting conditions for your snake plant, you should ensure that it has access to bright indirect sunlight or fluorescent lighting for at least part of the day.
It’s best to provide your snake plant with as much natural light as possible, but make sure that direct sunlight is filtered or indirect to prevent burning the leaves.
Additionally, snake plants do not require any special lighting fixtures as they can thrive in a variety of light environments.
Maintain Proper Temperature
Temperature extremes can be hard on your snake plant, causing it to become stressed and eventually droop.
To avoid this, make sure the temperature of its environment is between 60-85°F (16-29°C). This should provide enough consistency for it to thrive without any issues.
You should also ensure that there is good air circulation around the plant. This will help to keep the temperatures even, as well as prevent any leaf burn from happening during the summer months.
Additionally, you should avoid placing your snake plant near air vents or drafty windows, as this can lead to drastic temperature changes.
Finally, it’s important to inspect your snake plant regularly for any signs of stress or disease. If you notice any drooping or wilting leaves, adjust the temperature of the environment accordingly and make sure it is getting ample light and air circulation.
Treat Root Rot
Root rot is a common problem with snake plants that causes the roots to become soft or blackened. It’s caused by excessive moisture, either from overwatering or from poor drainage in the soil.
To identify if your plant has root rot, check for any signs of discoloration on the roots and inspect them for softness.
If you suspect root rot, the best thing to do is to repot your snake plant into a fresh potting mix and make sure that it has very good drainage.
Make sure that the roots are dry before repotting and water it lightly afterwards. Additionally, you should check for any signs of disease or pests as these can also contribute to root rot.
Preventing Future Drooping
To prevent future drooping of your snake plant, it’s important to follow some basic care guidelines. Make sure that the soil is well-draining and that you are not overwatering it; water it only when the soil has dried out.
Additionally, ensure that there is good air circulation around the plant and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or drafty windows.
Regularly monitor your snake plant’s health and address any issues promptly. If you notice any drooping or wilting leaves, adjust the temperature of the environment accordingly and make sure it is getting ample light and air circulation.
Lastly, if your plant develops root rot, repot it into fresh soil with improved drainage to avoid further damage.
In conclusion, it is important to properly care for your snake plant in order to avoid drooping and wilting. This includes providing the right light, temperature, soil drainage, and water levels.
Additionally, make sure that you are regularly inspecting your plant’s health and addressing any issues promptly in order to ensure its health.
If root rot sets in, repotting your snake plant into fresh soil is the best way to save it and prevent further damage. With proper care, your snake plant will remain healthy for years to come.
What are the signs of root rot in a snake plant?
Signs of root rot include wilting, discoloration or drooping leaves, soft and mushy roots, and a foul odor.
How can I prevent my snake plant from drooping?
To prevent your snake plant from drooping, provide it with proper light levels, maintain a consistent temperature, ensure good soil drainage and water the plant only when the soil has dried out. Additionally, make sure that there is good air circulation around the plant and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or drafty windows.
Why is my snake plant flopping over?
Flopping or drooping can be caused by too much water, not enough light, or a lack of air circulation. It is important to inspect your plant and adjust the environment accordingly in order to prevent further damage.